iFanboy Video Podcast

iFanboy #100 – iFanboy’s First Comics

Show Notes

When you have been reading comic books for almost your entire life it’s hard to pin down exactly which ones were the earliest and most influential, but this week on iFanboy the guys do the best to try!

Ron tells us about his discovery of the X-Men via Excalibur #19 when he was in middle school.

Josh stumbles upon Wolverine #1 and The Amazing Spider-Man #315 while in the drug store when he was 12 years old.

Conor sought out some entertainment in Justice League #5 & 6 while stuck on a family road trip when he was 10.

Nostalgia runs high this week on iFanboy!


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  1. haha, Ron had a mullet!  Business in the front, party in the back

    Fun stuff guys.  I can’t really remember what my first comic.  I only picked up like one ever couple months when I was a kid cuz my parents never gave me money.  I think it was an issue Superman that had the red and blue one.  However, I do remember the first series I totally followed.  It was the WWF Undertaker series.  I don’t remember much, and I can’t track it down at my parents place, but I remember loving the hell out of it.  I read it over and over again, I loved it.  I maybe got the first 8 issues before the little shop in my town went out of business. 🙁

  2. Like Conor I grew up with comics all around, my dad used to collect and even had things like Amazing Spider-Man 129, Silver Surfer #1, a bunch of old X-Men books including I think the first Havok issue. 

    I know I got a short box that came with some comics including an Uncanny X-Men issue with a hot Callisto and Colossus as a seemingly powerless guy named Peter Nicholas.  I think it ended with Dazzler being found by Guido in the sand on a beach.  

    Later on I found out this was shortly after the Siege Perilous stuff, but the one that really set me off was Part 2 of 12 of the X-Cutioner’s Song.  I ended up going back to Gambit’s 2nd appearance (since his first was too expensive) and it sent me on a track of being a huge X-Fan for a very very long time.

    I still love Lobdell, and I know I might be the only one but he was writing right at that impressionistic sweet spot when I began really collecting.

  3. I was hoping that the 100th episode would feature Dave, Jim, Paul, Mike and Sonia fighting to the death to find out who would become the fourth member of the ifanboy elite.

    This was also good.

  4. Great episode, god those pictures of you guys are so cute!

    I could not tell you what my first comic was specifically. It had to have been a Batman Adventures issue, you know the one that is like the Animated Series. In fact I got into comics because of the cartoon….but still cant tell you what issue it was. When I came back into the hobby though…would Kingdom Come TPB count?

    Ron hates Back to the Futur 2? Boo! Best in the series! 🙂

  5. My first book may or may not have been G.I. Joe #21 (It is the first one I remember), which may or may not be the coolest issue of any book in the history of the world.  I read that thing until it disintegrated in my hands.  I kept buying G.I. Joe into the early 100’s with my personal favorite story being the Snake-Eyes trilogy (I believe issues 94-96).  Also, Larry Hama is the shit.

    Unfortunately, I haven’t read a new G.I. Joe comic in years.  However, I am planning on giving Chuck Dixon’s new run a shot.

  6. The first comic I can remember was an issue of  ROBIN that tied into the ZERO-HOUR event. I can’t remeber a damn thing that happened in that issue except that Robin II met Robin I, which confused me at the time.

    The first comic I ever owned was DETEVTIVE COMICS #659, published in early May ’93 as part 2 of the Knightfall crossover, written by Chuck Dixon with art by Norm Breyfogle. There’s not much I can say for that odd little comic, except that it was (now that I look back on it) a very strange introduction to Batman and Robin (as well as the Vantriloquist [and Socko], Amygdala, and some bird-wielding wacko referred to as Bird sporting a blonde mullet).

    Strangely, I never really got into DC comics.. 🙂

  7. The first comic I can remember is the bonus Green Lantern comic I got with my Green Lantern Super Powers figure when I was 4. That counts right?

  8. Hey guys!  Great episode.  Uncanny in fact, for I’ve thought about this issue alot, trying to wrack my brain as to what my first introduction to comics were.

    For me, it was a Flash comic.  I really can’t remember what issue number, but, I remember Flash fighting this HUGE guy with a mace on a chain, looking like an executioner.  My buddy Allen lent it to me and I was astonished.  This Mace guy pummels Flash, and the last panel is Flash lying in the grass, blood coming from his nose, and mouth, while the villian stomps toward the city to wreak more havok.  I was shocked!  A hero….BEATEN!  This was back in the fourth grade, so that image stuck with me to this day.


    My other more serious introduction was in eighth grade and I somehow picked up a Deathlock mini.  What got me into it and into comics was when Deathlock goes to his house and tries to talk with his wife, and she shuns him because he’s a monster outside.  It really stuck with me that you could cultivate that emotional depth from a comic.

     Ever since then I was hooked.  Enough so that I’m making my own comics, which I hope will inspire someone to read and love comics.

    Great topic guys.  Love the site and the pod and video casts!!!

  9. My first comic was only a couple of years ago. It was Daredevil 86 and I couldn’t get enough. Even though it was penultimate issue to the arc I understand exactly what was happening. It made me love Daredevil, Brubaker, Lark, Bullseye, and countless other things. I went back later that day and got the rest of the issues from Brubaker’s run. From that day on I have been hoooked and visit the shop weekly.

  10. Congrats on 100 eps! Here’s to (at least) 100 more!

  11. Fun episode, guys, and grats on 100! I don’t remember the very first comic I ever bought, but I do remember the first one I was obsessed with: Spider-Man vs. Wolverine #1 (volume 1). It had the "special" paper inside, and I was determined to get my $2.50 worth out of it.

  12. A series of hard cover books about teenagers – there was a horny redheaded guy, a geek with a brother that was lousy at school and prefered surfing etc that had an activist girlfriend, a fat female teacher that shouted a lot, a disgusting guy that smelled badly all the time and liked gross things, a stupid and buff guy with a girlfriend that likes to cook but really can’t etc.

    The creator of that said he wrote it based on his classmates but in an exaggerated way.  That series is called Zbeng! and it continues to this day and is the most recognized and sustainable Israeli comic. 

    Not the most high brow material but my school library had a lot of hard cover books of that series – I went to that school from the first grade to the fifth.

    There are also two hard cover books that I bought that are about an old guy from the cavemen era that is an inventor (Dombi the ancient man – loosely translated), and another hard cover book that was a parody of buff good ol’ boys of the USA saving the day in old movies I think, called  "Ruv-Shu’unun against the son of godzilla" – the U is pronounced like ah and not oo.

    He failed in his mission and earth turned to a fried egg in the end. 

    Here’s one of the books about the dombi the ancient man: http://img155.imageshack.us/my.php?image=rtertct6.jpg

    and Ruv Shu’unun: http://kulmosnet.co.il/articles/eshed/bidioni/ravshanan.jpg

    I think the first US comics besides the cartoons on tv and computer games is a Rocketeer issue translated to hebrew and in 3D (the same drawing printed once in blue and moved a bit and printed again in red) which I had to read as is since I had no idea where to get 3D glasses – I bought it used in a book store.

    "Got me into comics" sounds too dramatic – I read comics and it’s just like any other form of storytelling, but it was probably Zbeng! that made me aware of the format.

    Zbeng! : http://www.booknetshop.co.il/imgs/site/prod/20-48919b.jpg 

  13. I very much grew up with comics all around but as the superhero stuff was too "adult & violent" I mostly had lots of the Marvel Star cartoon line (LOVED Ewoks and Muppet Babies) and Captain Carrot books that were read to death.

    Later on, after reading a bunch of my cousin’s collection the first "real" comic I bought with my own money was (adjective-less) X-Men #2. What followed were a good few years of Image fanboy madness/crash-and-burn that thankfully has evened out to what I like to think is a pretty well-rounded pile of books every month and a huge trade collection (although admittedly, VERY light on Marvel at the moment).

  14. I think my first comic was an issue of the Secret Society of Super-Villains in the mid-70s that my Mom bought me when I was sick with the flu (I was probably about 7 or 8 years old). It ended with a cliff-hanger, I never did find out what happened.

     I also remember fondly Action Comics #454 (http://www.coverbrowser.com/covers/action-comics/10#i454). Ahh the days of the "trick" covers that would make you read the book to find out what happens!

  15. Got this one summer, became a fan for life …ahh Paul Smith pencils….sniff

  16. I love the fact that Ron and I have the same "first"

  17. Congrats gang on the 100th episode!  I’ve only been around for a month or two, but it’s already easy for me to see why you guys have been around to do so many shows.  Keep up the good work!

    I also grew up around comics.  My dad was a huge fan of Spider-Man and FF but there are a few issues that I remember more than others.  But my love began with two issues, or rather books.

    I read and re-reada a crossover story with the X-Men and Teen Titans.  It featured Darkseid and Dark Pheonix and blew my mind!  And please, please, please if anyone knows how I can get this in trade, please let me know.  I have never been able to find it!!

    My second book was actually Batman: Year One.  My uncle gave me the book and I still have that dog-eared copy on my bookcase with all my other TPB and graphic novels.  Not only is it a great book, but it is one of my earliest memories of truely reading and understanding comics.

    Ah, memories….

  18. Star Wars #83 (May 1984). I couldn’t believe that they had stories that took place after Return of the Jedi! They weren’t very good, but at 6 I really didn’t care. I then moved onto G.I. Joe. I really didn’t get into Superhero stuff until 1989 when Batman came out. 

  19. Wolverine #34 – "The Hunter in the Darkness".  Larry Hama/Marc Silvestri.  It still stands as one of my favorite single issues

  20. …Ron, why was there a poster for "California Games" in your grade school classroom?

    Was that Nintendo class?

  21. Great–Scott! Good point Jimski has there, what kind of hippie school were you attending good sir? Children in grade school should be playing games that teach them about the real world, like Oregon Trail or Odell Lake. Seriously, how did you make it this far in life without getting dysentery, or being eaten by an otter?

    On another note…I couldn’t say what my first book was exactly, like a lot of others here at the site, they’ve always been around. I recall those issues of Spiderman when McFarlane came on very vividly though, because a lot of the art in comics I had seen until then, had never really done as much for me as the stories behind the characters. There was a real ‘oooh, this is different, and I like this’ kind of thing that happened, and it felt like looking at comics for the first time. I was very young, but thats when I started noticing and respecting the artists involved, not just the heroes they were drawing.

  22. As far back as I could remember, I always read comics. Some of my earliest ones were Archie and Barbie comics (pickings were kind of kind of slim if you happened to be a girl in the late 80s/early 90s). It wasn’t until my family moved overseas that I really got into comics. At the time, my family was stationed at an Air Force Base in Tokyo, and it was hard to get entertainment that was in English– sure there were movies that were anywhere from 3-6 months behind or the 2-3 channels that we got. So I read comics. I remember my mother giving me a five dollar bill at age 8 and riding my bike to the nearest shoppette to buy eggs and milk, and not coming home. My parents freaked out and called all of my friends’ parents at the time, and no one knew where I was. 

     Turns out I had pulled a handful of comics from a revolving rack. 

    <img src="http://www.worldsfinestonline.com/WF/batman/btas/guides/comic/tba/12.jpg"&gt;

    Batman Adventures #12 (Sept ’93). Savvy 8 year olds should note that I definitely got more bang for my buck because not only does this comic feature Batgirl (in her first appearance for this BTAS tie-in) but also Harley, Ivy (both pictured on the cover) and Catwoman.

     15 years later. I’m still reading and I work in a comic book shop now. Ha.

  23. Oh my god I just got back from the liquor store they had one of those spin rack. I just call the voicemail. I sound it like a totally idiot. But I just want to tell you guys that and my first comic was secret wars and  the liquor store did not have any good comics they just had some old Marvel team up.

  24. I got a lot of comics back in the early ’80s, when I was 2-5 years old. I’ve never gone through and figured out chronologically which one would have been the first, but the two that always stick out are:

    1) Uncanny X-Men #205: that GREAT Wolverine solo story with Barry Windsor-Smith art about a wounded Logan and a little girl from Power Pack hiking thru the snow, running from Lady Deathstrike and the Reavers. The cover showed Wolvie in costume, and yet within the issue he was basically naked and all hairy–which…confused me as a child ("Why isn’t he in his costume?").

    2) Crisis on Infinite Earths #8: The death of the Flash. While it never stuck in my mind quite as much as Uncanny 205, in retrospect I find it noteworthy in some way that I had this issue. At an early age I remember being creeped out by how the dying Flash’s face aged/melted away.

    Worth noting: I was only ever to get into comics at a young age because of the spinner rack at a local general store. That spinner rack vanished about ten years ago, and the general store is now closed except during the summer tourist season.

  25. At 8 years old I was into buying number ones. So although I’d read the kiddie comics, Beano, Dandy, etc, my first comics that got me into comics were: 2000ad issue 1 and Captain Britain issue 1. The 2000ad really hooked me and I bought it up to about issue 270. Looking back, the Captain Britain was no where close to the quality of 2000ad.

  26. Flapjaxx, i bought that X-men issue as a back issue in the early 90s.  Good stuff.


    My first single issue comic was, i think, Batman 435 (The many deaths pf the batman, part three) written by John Byrne and Drawn by Jim Aparo.  I was about seven or eight.  It was very dark, very noir – someone was dressing people up like batman and murdering them, and a woman scratched a bat signal in the carpet as she was being choked to death.  It scared me to death and I loved it. 

    Around the sametime i also read Avengers West COast issue 50something, where wanda goes crazy and magneto lifts her house up into the air as part of the Acts of Vengeance event.  That was what got me into marvel.

    Either right after discovering these books, or possibly even before i came across them, I had read the first trade of Elfquest, which i loved.  I also remembered it a couple years later when i was reading the FF trial of galactus trade and there was a scene in which a couple of actors are reciting dialogue from a scene between Cutter and Leetah.

  27. @Jimski-I loved California Games!!  Specifically the surfing, roller skating, and frisbee games

  28. Congratulations on 100 episodes!!! continue the good work.

    my first comic was probably an Archie or Betty & Veronica. I always used to by a Superman, Batman or X-Men when i went to Rite-Aid and my Stepdad, who used to read comics up until he graduated from college, would always by comics for me and we would talk about them a lot. But the first comic that got me hooked was The Savage Dragon#28 and I’ve read it ever since.

    That all being said, if it wasn’t for the works of Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Frank Miller and discovering Vertigo and then Indie comics when i was 13 or 14 i probably wouldn’t be reading comics now.

  29. I don’t really remember my first comic, but i definitely remember discovering them.  I grew up in a small town and my parents owned i bicycle shop, during the summers they would take me their after school until the shop closed. Just around the corner was a small book shop with this giant picture window and right in that window, sparkling in the sunlight was the holy grail, the spinner rack of comics.  The owners knew my parents  so they would let me sit in that window and read comics every day for those couple hours after school.  Let me tell you, that’s the way to live.

    If i had to guess on an exact issue it would probably be Amazing Spider-man 328, guess starring the Joe Fixit Hulk, with Sebastian Shaw as the villain. 


  30. Great episode!

    I went digging through my things and found my first comic I ever purchased.  Uncanny X-Men #300 from May 1993.  It has a shiny silver cover that the 90’s came to be known for.  Funny thing, it’s still in relatively good condition even though it hasn’t been bagged and boarded all these years.

    I also found the first back issues I ever bought.  Uncanny X-Men #278 from July 1991, and a Marvel Comics Presents Colossus from April 1989.

    I must say there is no smell like old comics.

  31. I’ll never forget it… UNCANNY X-MEN #182.  Rogue in a huge orange 80s sweater and green tights disables the SHIELD helicarrier by throwing a quarter at it.  John Romita Jr. on pencils and Chris Claremont at his absolute prime.  It was love at first sight.

  32. Similar to Conor (never thought I’d say that), I had various comics around during my childhood. But I didn’t start actively seeking out comic books until 1982. Ten years old, with a few dollars burning a hole in my pocket and tired of the arcade, I walked over to 7-11 to buy a Chunky bar (with peanuts and raisins, of course) and picked up G.I. Joe #9 and an issue of ROM (yes, ROM) that I can’t remember. Soon I was looking for comic-book stores where I could find back issues (G.I. Joe #1 went for $25.00 then).

    The nail in the coffin came the following year with my first X-Men comic, #176. Ah, the shattered logo, a time-honored tradition. 

  33. I was a 80s birth so I grew up around great movies, television, toys, and video games.  My actual first comic was Marvel’s Master of Kung Fu and Savage Sword of Conan which were my dads.  Continuing in the 90s where cartoon superheroics were prominent the need for buying comics was not nessecary plus I did not recieve allowance but I do remember recieving Sabertooth #1, FF#?, and a Batman:  Arkham Asylum issue.  My friends were into superheroes and had trading cards and some comics.  But the real first that got me to start collecting comics was a Green Lantern:  New Dawn/Emerald Twighlight TPB.  I had walked into a comic store close to my current work to check it out and I bought it.  I’ve never looked back since.  Even got a GL ring tattoo.

  34. My dad actually bought my brother and I comic book subscriptions without us even asking him to! This was around 1982-1983; I believe he first bought subscriptions to Amazing Spider-Man (Black Cat and Hobgoblin era, as I seem to recall) and Incredible Hulk, then later to Transformers at my request. Unfortunately my brother got into comics as a hobby before I did, so he has all of those old issues.

  35. My dad drove me to school if I missed the bus, even when I didn’t ask. I guess you win.

  36. Oh, man, so much great stuff on this show.  I love that Claremont/Buscema ‘Wolverine’ series.  And Hal Jordan’s preppy sweater in ‘JLI’ is one of my very favorite things.

    As somebody who’s only really been a serious comics reader for about 2 1/2 years, I’ve never framed the question in quite this way.  I’ve encountered comics off and on through my life that I liked, but until a couple years ago they never really compelled me to go get *more* comics. 

    It actually occurred to me for the first time that I would probably not be reading comics now if issue 16 of Astonishing X-Men hadn’t been delayed so long.  I read the first 15 issues of the series, and then was like, "when do I get to see the rest?"  My friends who had conned me into reading this (after they got done laughing) filled me in on how the ‘shipping’ thing worked.  So I focused on trying to learn more about what was going on in the issues I’d read already, and ended up reading "The Dark Phoenix Saga," "Days of Future Past," the whole Morrison X-men run, "Phoenix Endsong," and various and sundry X-men back issues from the 70s-90s, while waiting for that next issue to come out. 

    I’m not saying this is actually an argument in favor of delays, but in my case it helped!

  37. (I now feel like I should add that I read other stuff during that period too — Runaways and Gotham Central and Daredevil and Marvels; the original description makes me sound slightly more single-minded than I actually was.)

  38. Um, I can’t remember my very first comic, but I do remember that I first got interested in comics during a summer holiday with my family which we were spending travelling around the country on trains. I was bored to tears and the only thing that relieved the boredom was buying and reading the comic books that I saw in newsagents at train stations. I remember that I picked up Red Sonja, X-Men and Daredevil books that summer and was hooked from then.

  39. GOD do I feel old.  I was in college when all those books came out and I’m sure I still own every one of them.  The first comic I remember reading was Justice League of America #127 from I’m guessing around 1975.  The cover shows Superman knocking out Green Lantern with one punch while Batman, Black Canary, Green Arrow and The Flash cheer him on.  (Cover price 25 cents!)

    Special thanks to my Dad who used to pick up random comics for me whenever I was home sick from school.  I discovered so many great books that way that I would never have bought on my own.

  40. Man…. My dad would tell me stories about the baby that was sent to earth because of his dying planet. So when I was old enough he took me to the comic shop… where i was shown Superman… he was great. But my eyes were drawn to the guy with a Bat on his chest and that is what started it. My first comic i have, and still have framed to this day was JLA 178. Good stuff. So thanks dad.


  41. Although my mom bought random comics for me (I have some Batman, Firestorm, and Amazing Spider-Man books for no apparent reason, as well as collections of Transformers that they used to sell three to a bag), the first book that started me actively collecting comics was G.I. Joe #63 from Marvel.  This issue was in the middle of a number of plots- you had the Fred VII Cobra Commander coming to Cobra Island for the first time and meeting the Baronness; Snake-Eyes, Scarlett, and the Blind Master landing in Europe on their way to rescue some Joes trapped in an Eastern European gulag (and the Blind Master takes out a car of French thugs with a ball-peen hammer and a grenade-sweeeet!); and a new set of Joes led by Chuckles and Psych-Out coming to the Utah Pit, but since none of them have their paperwork, nobody can tell them about what’s going on.  This was a great jump-on issue, because if you hadn’t read any of the previous issues, you the reader didn’t know what was going on either and so you felt the confusion of the new Joes.  Some might say that would be a turn off, but all it did was make me more interested in the story.

    What made this important was that, not only did I want to keep reading G.I. Joe, but I wanted to get the back issues to figure out what had happened.  Then I started collecting Transformers regularly, and starting in 1990 I picked up X-Men #1 (the Claremont/Lee re-launch), which got me into the Marvel U proper, and it’s been a long, strange trip ever since.

  42. The first comic I ever bought was a copy of "Action Comics" Annual #1.  It was the first Annual after the John Byrne retcon.  It was written by John Bryne and had art by Art Adams.  On the cover was a picture of Superman and Batman with the words "Cry Vampire".  At 5 years old, I was hooked.  The story is about Batman dealing with a rash of murders in Gotham.  He follows the trial to a small town in Mississippi.  Realizing that he might need a little help on this one, he gets a hold of Clark and asks him to come down and help out.  Superman shows up and the action and drama begins.  Batman is confronted by a girl named Skeeter.  After talking with her, Batman just can’t say no to her.  She takes Batman so see her parents, and we then find out, Skeeter is the vampire.  Superman shows up and looks around town.  He sees the fear all over.  He then goes to see the Police Chief and he takes The Man of Steel to the mourge so he can see the victims.  In a extremly well drawn scene, Superman looks at all the victims and even he turns a shade of white.  After leaving the mourge, the alarm sounds from the city jail.  With a quick glance, Superman sees that everyone has escaped.   He quickly rounds them all up. but is then confronted with the Vampire Skeeter.  With all his strength and speed, Kal-El is no match form the creature born out of magic.  With Superman on the ropes, a stake is driven through the back of Skeeter, we the see The Dark Knight standing behind her.  The Dark Knight and The Man of Steel exchanges good-byes and go their own way.  The best part about this one is the last page.  It’s Batman and Jim Gordon standing over 6 or 7 dug up graves.  The scene drops to Batman’s hands where he has a hammer and wood stakes.  He utters the line: "You and your men are free to go."

  43. this was a really good episode and topic.

    i would have started reading comics at age 6 or 7, when my mom bought me a Silver Surfer comic, in which he kicks the living shit out of Rhino. it was pretty awesome. but the fact that the Silver Surfer didn’t speak in some kind of "surfer dude" type dialect really bothered me. to my young brain this just didn’t make any sense.

    i don’t remember thinking too much about comics until maybe 5 years, the summer before 6th grade when a friend of mine gave me a Venom comic.i don’t remember the number or what the mini-series was called, all i remember was eddie brock was a good guy and he lived in this underground city underneath san francisco with a bunch of hobos. I became immediately obsessed with Venom and comic books in general. i forsake all baseball cards and "My Teacher is an Alien" type novels and, for three years, spent every cent i could get my hands on, at the comic shop. i stopped for 11 years, until on a whim, i bought vol.1 of Y: the last man at a borders. i became a fiend all over again and probably will be, in some capacity, for the rest of my life. 

  44. can someone give me a link to the first jobs story?

  45. I’m sorry, i don’t know what that means.  Is it something from in the show?

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